Best String Lights: Amazon Basics Patio String Lights
If you don’t have space for larger light fixtures or just want that firefly look, string lights are the answer. They’ll bring a soft glow to late nights and make you feel like you’re under the stars, no matter how bustling your environment. Domino’s editorial assistant, Esmé Stern, swears by this option by Amazon Basics, claiming that the lights are “ideal for my city patio. They give off the best (and most flattering!) warm glow, and stretch long enough to illuminate my entire space. Not to mention they’re super easy to hang.”
Best Dispenser: Crow Canyon Home Enamelware Dispenser
Fact: Any refreshing drink will taste better when poured from a splatter-paint vessel. The virtually indestructible enamelware is an added bonus if your kids rule the house (almost every Amazon reviewer marveled over its playful design and function, earning it 4.3 stars). When it’s not in use, Domino’s style editor Julia Stevens recommends “displaying it on your kitchen counter to let it shine amongst your more ordinary supplies.”
Best Poolside Speaker: Lexon Tykho Splashproof Radio
A bold bluetooth speaker will add much-needed tunes to any backyard event. This option holds 20 hours of charge and is splash-proof, making it a must-have for pool parties. It also comes in a variety of bright hues—from tomato to turquoise—to add a Technicolor burst to your backyard. Reviewers (who, on average, gave it 4.3 out of 5 stars), commended its low price compared to competitors as well as its high sound quality. A win-win.
Best (Sustainable!) Plates: Bambu Compostable Plates
Summer entertaining wouldn’t be complete without chic disposable tableware. These plates are 100 percent biodegradable (they’re made from certified organic bamboo) and, according to Stevens, make for the perfect neutral accents to a funky tablecloth. One reviewer even said, “they’re so good, I wish they weren’t single use.”
Best Lawn Chairs: Lawn Chair USA Classic Lawn Chairs
The perfect foldable, lightweight lawn chair comes in more than 30 patterns to fit your outdoor palette. Domino editors are loving the blue-and-red checkerboard design for a patriotic flair made for the Fourth of July. They are also made from light-weight UV-resistant webbing and can be easily transported to wherever your summer adventures take you, from a beach day to an alfresco movie. An almost unprecedented 87 percent of Amazon reviewers give it 5 stars.
Best Bistro Set: Grand Patio Store Patio Bistro Set
You can’t go wrong with bistro seating. Prime for unwinding post-work with a glass of wine and your favorite summer dish or enjoying a slow brunch on weekends, this sunny set won’t take up much space but will make your balcony or patio feel more put-together. The powder-coated steel frame is rust-resistant, making it ideal for sudden summer rains. It even comes with plastic pieces on each chair leg to prevent floor scratches.
Best Cooler: Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler
Form meets function with Yeti coolers. They may be pricey but they’re worth it—they can hold up to 20 cans or bottles plus plenty of ice, which stays chilled thanks to plenty of installation. It’s also virtually indestructible (read: adventure-proof) and includes a latch made from heavy-duty rubber. Choose your favorite bright hue (or opt for one of its more neutral choices), and suddenly your beverages have a cool and stylish home even you’ll be slightly jealous of.
What to Consider When Shopping for Patio AccessoriesMaterials: Opt for rust-proof materials like stainless and galvanized steel, aluminum, brass, or even a metal coated in a layer of enamel. When it comes to wood furniture, you can’t get much better than teak, which is waterproof and resistant to sunlight.
Color Palette: The same rules as styling a living room apply to your patio. Choose a focal point, like an umbrella or outdoor rug, then build the palette around that item. If one hue dominates, add some variation with accessories in different textures, like rattan, terracotta or painted wicker.
Climate: Think about climate extremes—from unexpected rain to intense heat waves—and choose materials that are made to withstand those conditions. For example, cypress wood releases a natural water repellant, making it perfect for wet weather zones like the Pacific Northwest.
Ask DominoAssociate Style Editor Julia Stevens answers your outdoor decorating and shopping questions.
When is the best time to buy patio furniture and accessories?The sooner the better. Having your space set up makes those first warm days even more rewarding. Memorial Day is a great deadline to give yourself. Plus, with so many stock issues lately, it’s better to get your orders in before there’s nothing left!
How do I accessorize my outdoor space on a budget?Outdoor spaces are one of the few zones where you can get away with a little kitsch, and that conveniently translates to more affordable products like melamine plates and lawn chairs. Two affordable finds on my radar this season: this $27 plastic rug from Target and $20 solar powered string lights from IKEA.
What’s your favorite patio trend this year?I’m loving laid back style for outdoor spaces. Summer is the time when you just want to chill out, so why not create a space that promotes that? Floor cushions, hammocks, and trays that allow for snacking anywhere can help create that vibe.
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